Death of a Crab

I read an article yesterday in Diner Journal about Caroline Fidanza’s first experience killing a chicken. She talked about how she felt “the chicken was in good hands because she was in my hands.” She later reflects “when you realize what it’s like to really see the animal as a whole, it changes everything back to the way things are supposed to be.” I thought about this today while I cooked a live crab.

Cooking a live crab is by no means anywhere close to the difficulty of killing a chicken. All I had to do was plop him into a pot of boiling water. That, however, does not mean it was easy for me. I had to call my dad to make sure I did it right. He told me to grab the crab from behind, submerge the crab in the water head first, push him down with a wooden spoon, and then cover with the lid. Since I don’t have rubber gloves and I’m a whimp, I wanted to do it with tongs.

To make a longer story shorter, I ended up dumping the crab out of the bag into the pot of boiling water, made a splash, and the crab didn’t entirely make it in at first, but all of its inanimate legs quickly fell into the pot and I put the lid on top. At first it made me jump and I was a little scared. Once I pushed the crab into the pot and covered it with a lid, I felt quite proud of myself. Not because I had killed a living thing, but because I knew my dad and my grandpa would be really, really proud of me.

My grandpa loved cooking for me. Whenever I’d visit him, he’d spend the whole day cooking and then wait for me to arrive. (I don’t think we have proof of this, but I’m sure it happened.) Even though I was little, I remember him showing me how to cook. He was a great man, and I wish he were still alive to cook for me. I don’t think I appreciated how much he loved food, and how much he wanted me to love food.

Anyway, so tomorrow my friend and I are eating crab, roasted duck, pork buns, and noodles in black bean sauce. It’s my bachelorette party/gift/thing to her.

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